Former Derby County player and coach Eric Steele joined presenter Chris Coles on the latest edition of the BBC’s Sportscene Podcast, during which the pair discussed potential Derby transfer business.
This comes after it’s been claimed that the completion of Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan‘s takeover of the East Midlands club is imminent.
During this podcast, Steele and Coles spent some time talking about potential transfer targets upon the completion of the takeover and on that topic, Steele urged the new Rams owners to consider a move for Reading centre-forward Lucas Joao, who has scored more goals than all but two other players in the Championship this term.
The pundit said: “I’d go and sign the boy [Joao] at Reading. If the owners are there and they’re listening, the new owners, show some intent, yeah, go and sign him.
“He’s been unbelievable for Reading. We’re a bigger club than Reading, surely we can attract players like him.”
Could Derby sign Joao?
TIF Thoughts on what Steele had to say about Joao…
It’d certainly be difficult to argue against Steele’s claim that Joao would be a good transfer target for the East Midlands club.
In addition to his impressive goalscoring record, Joao has completed more dribbles-per-game in the league (1.6) than all but one Derby player to have started a Championship fixture this term (Kamil Jozwiak), while only four Rams players have played more key passes-per-game than Joao has (1.1) this term, according to WhoScored.
As Derby have got the worst goalscoring record in England’s second-tier for the 2020/21 campaign at present, the high-scoring Reading man may be a wise target in what is arguably a priority position for the Rams, as they’ve currently got just two recognised senior centre-forwards, who have scored just five league goals this term combined.
The relegation-battling side may struggle to prise the Portuguese striker from the promotion contenders due to their league position, however, and Joao is also under contract with Reading until the end of June 2023, so it may take a significant transfer sum to get this deal done and it may be somewhat unrealistic, though with the takeover looming, perhaps they could pull it off.